High Programmer > Alan De Smet > Rants > Reviews > Video Game Reviews > Interactive Fiction Reviews > Bronze


Rating: 7/10. An enjoyable take on "Beauty and the Beast."
Author: Emily Short
Released: 2006
Download "Bronze"for free (backup link.)
Spoiler filled maps of Bronze

In the relatively short game "Bronze," Emily Short reimagines the traditional story "Beauty and the Beast." The game begins with your returning to the Beast's castle after a visit to your family. However, things have gone wrong; the Beast is missing and you are blocked from parts of the castle by mysterious forces.

This is a puzzle-oriented game, but the puzzles feel reasonably well integrated, largely by taking advantage of the magical reality. The game speeds revisiting old locations with the helpful "GOTO room name" and "FIND seen item" which quickly move the protagonist to the desired location. The game's built in hint mechanism, in the form of "THINK ABOUT topic" works pretty well, although sometimes it punts with "The current problem cannot be fully dealt with until you have addressed another issue; further exploration is called for."

Short reinterprets the original story in a number of interesting ways, adding layers to the traditional curse on Beast. There is a far more complex history at work, a history you unravel through the game.

The game offers four or so distinct endings based on your decisions. I found one of them, arguably the "best" one, to be a bit difficult to see. (Hint: you can look up more things than just people in the records.)

Between fun, if relatively easy, puzzles and an interesting new take on an old story, there is solid entertainment to be had from "Bronze."

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